The topic of a “cash-only diet” has been discussed quite a bit recently after some research on the subject was published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
Researchers investigated whether the method of payment – cash, credit card, or debit card – influenced types of foods purchased by shoppers. What they discovered is that when debit or credit cards were used to purchase groceries more unhealthy products ended up in the cart than if shoppers paid with cash.
The research team attributes this to the fact that perhaps the abstractness of plastic payments can reduce the pain of payment and result in more impulse purchases such as candy, cookies, and other less healthy foods. When paying with cash, shoppers do not purchase these products as often. Therefore, perhaps a “cash-only diet” could result in a healthier diet!
What is your opinion of this research? What payment method do you use for grocery shopping? Do you believe using cash currently (or would) influence your food purchases?
P.S. – Researchers also noticed that consumers who shop on weekends were less likely to be impulsive and tended to stick to a list.
What days of the week do you shop on? How many times a week do you visit the grocery store? Do you have a written list that you strictly stick to? Or do you have a general list and then just pick up other items you may need or are on sale?